Chennai: A statue of late All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief J. Jayalalithaa was unveiled at the party headquarters in Chennai on Wednesday, months after criticism over an earlier statue installed in February that did not resemble the late leader.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and his deputy O. Panneerselvam unveiled the bronze statue on Wednesday at the AIADMK headquarters. Other senior leaders, ministers and AIADMK MPs were present.

In February this year, the ruling AIADMK in a grand event to commemorate the 70th birth anniversary of Jayalalithaa had unveiled a life-size statue of their leader. As it barely resembled the five- time chief minister, the party leaders faced a severe backlash from all quarters.

Social media was abuzz with ridicule as people started seeing a resemblance with Jayalalithaa’s aide V. K. Sasikala and even the wife of chief minister Palaniswami.

Following this it was announced that the statue would be replaced.

The new eight-foot tall bronze statue of Jayalalithaa with her right hand raised to show the two leaves symbol of the AIADMK has been placed next to the statue of party founder and former chief minister M G Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR.

The new statute has been made by sculptor Rajkumar Vudayar of Andhra Pradesh.

On Wednesday evening, the party also launched its own television news channel— J News— named after Jayalalithaa.

The Namadhu MGR daily and Jaya TV network, which have served as the party’s mouthpiece over the years, are now controlled by jailed leader Sasikala and her family. Following the sidelining of Sasikala and her nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran from the AIADMK, the newspaper and television channel have become very critical of the ruling party.

Mint had reported in January that the party had plans to launch its own newspaper and a news channel. A month later when the first statue of Jayalalithaa was installed, the party had launched its newspaper Nammadhu Amma.

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